Rather Boring Pantry Pasta

3-4 oz. some kind of pasta (I prefer shapes)
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes (diced jalapeno pepper is also good if you’re out)
~6 pieces of salami or pepperoni, quartered or sixthed
1/4 onion/2-3 green onions/1-2 shallots, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp assorted dried herbs- parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, etc. (Penzey’s Pasta Sprinkle is nice)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional- I have occasionally used shredded cheddar cheese)

Bring water to a boil and cook pasta. While this is going on, prep the rest of the ingredients. Drain the pasta and leave in the colander while you make the sauce. (I use the same pot I used to boil the pasta- it’s only like 2 quarts, so it’s not really a pain to clean.) Put the pot/pan over medium-high heat and add the oil and red pepper flakes. Stir/swirl around for about a minute. Add the salami/pepperoni and cook another minute. Add onion and stir until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Toss in the herbs. Add the cooked pasta back to the pan and toss to combine. Turn off heat, taste for seasoning and adjust with salt/pepper. Empty into bowl and add cheese.

3-4 Tbsp of toasted nuts can be added when you put in the herbs. They can be used in place of the salami/pepperoni if you’re a vegetarian.
2-3 Tbsp vinaigrette. I’ll do this if I have leftover salad dressing. I added it instead of the dried herbs. Dump it in and let it reduce a little.
A handful or two of baby spinach. Toss this in when you combine the pasta and sauce at the end and stir until it wilts.

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